If pecks and bushels are used for measurement, they will also be stolen.
- There will simply be something more to steal.
If scales and steelyards are used for weighing, they will also be stolen. If tallies and signets are used for good faith, they will also be stolen. If charity and duty to one's neighbour are used for rectification, they will also be stolen.
How is this so?—One man steals a purse, and is punished. Another steals a State, and becomes a Prince. But charity and duty to one's neighbour are integral parts of princedom. Does he not then steal charity and duty to one's neighbour together with the wisdom of the Sages?
So it is that to attempt to drive out great robbers
- Who steal States.
is simply to help them to steal principalities, charity, duty to one's neighbour, together with measures, scales, tallies, and signets. No reward of official regalia and uniform will dissuade, nor dread of sharp instruments of punishment will deter such men from their course. These do but double the profits of robbers like Chê, and make it impossible to get rid of them,—for which the Sages are responsible.
Therefore it has been said, "Fishes cannot be taken away from water: the instruments of government cannot be delegated to others."
- These words were uttered by Lao Tzŭ. So say